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Old 05-06-2008, 05:27 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by diver1972 View Post




Because it's not enforced here.

I've never been to Europe, but I've heard all about the driving experience over there. It works extremely well there, but that's because it's enforced. One will actually be cited for being in the inside lane while not actively passing, regardless of their speed.
It's also because the driving test in Europe is rigorous and costs like $2000. here it's basically a joke and costs $15. We simply live in a culture that has put no value into safe and courteous driving--and it's a vicious cycle--even the people who *do* wish for people to drive according the rules (like me) often don't, because it's easier to join em than beat them: when you are constantly trying to set an example or drive properly and it is hindering you and going unnoticed--one simply gives up and resorts to the practices they were just shaking their fist at.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:33 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syWJbD1rf0Y



[snip]

Why argue so hard against someone who is merely being uncommonly courteous? He's not realistically increasing anyone's risk, just being nice to someone while at the same time avoiding having a huge truck taking up his whole rearview. I fail to see what's wrong with what he described.
I totally agree. I sometimes do this if I feel the circumstances warrant it, ie, relatively empty highway and I'm driving slower than most people drive in the right lane. Truckers are used to coming up on cars going certain speeds. Most people in the right lane drive 65-68mph. So if I'm going 60, then I'm doing him an appreciable favor by moving out of his way--his coming up on me that much faster is enough to startle him. Ideally I should speed up before he comes barreling down on me, but if I'm trying to save gas and don't want to speed up, I can move to the left lane if no one else is around.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:34 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1993CivicVX View Post
even the people who *do* wish for people to drive according the rules (like me) often don't, because it's easier to join em than beat them: when you are constantly trying to set an example or drive properly and it is hindering you and going unnoticed--one simply gives up and resorts to the practices they were just shaking their fist at.
Yup, I fall into "toronto mode" when I get up near there... because using your indicator means "please cut me off" *sigh*
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:55 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by monroe74 View Post

[snip]

"If he's really going that fast ? while pulling that kind of volume and weight, then he's the one taking chances and he's the one who's assuming all the responsibility of the risk"

In that moment, I have exactly this much interest in adopting a perspective that is the least bit moralistic or legalistic: none whatsoever (when an accident is being analyzed in a courtroom, a comment like yours might have relevance; otherwise, not; I see holycow made the same point). I'm interested only in promoting safety, and being courteous. And since I'm traveling 20 under the limit, for no apparent reason, that makes me feel some extra duty to avoid inconveniencing him.

"I fail to see how, when he has that much visibility (i.e. 'miles'), a lane change could be any reasonable risk"

I'm not claiming that his lane change would be a great risk. I'm only claiming that the risk (to me, in particular) entailed in him changing lanes is marginally greater than the risk entailed in him going straight ahead, while I step aside. Do you disagree?

[snip]
Let's not forget the number one cause for accidents on freeways is people driving different speeds. It's the inconsistency in speed that creates the greatest hazard. The reason they raised the highway speed limits from 55 to 65 in the early 90s was because there was a large body of people not willing to drive 65 and were doing 75--and then there was a large body of law abiding citizens doing 55. By raising it to 65 they hoped to close this gap and thus make the roads safer. Highways often have minimum speeds of 45mph where flashers are required. I have long felt that the minimum speeds should be treated like the speed limits. That is, if the minimum is 45, you shouldn't do less than 55. the speed limit is 65, but most everyone's doing 75. Even at 60mph on the interstates where I live I sometimes feel like a hazard. If monroe is doing *20*mph under the speed limit, he really is doing the right and safer thing by moving out of the way, because he is bringing attention to the special circumstance of him driving too slow. His maneuver lets the trucker know he's alert, lets him know he is aware that he is driving too slow, and creates a safer situation than if he just remains in the right lane. These laws were made assuming the people in the right lane were only doing 10mph slower than the people in the fast lane. That's the ideal. But we all know that the ideal is not adhered to. That some of us (and I'm guilty of both parties) want to drive 90mph and some people want to drive 60mph. If people are breaking the speed limit (whether by going too fast or too slow, and I strongly feel the minimum speed limits are too low--they should be 55 or 60mph), then the 'keep right except to pass law' needs to have footnotes and quid pro quos attached to it (as in Monroe's case) Sometimes, in light of people having driving habits not considered by the drafters of the road laws (driving too slow, P&G and other unconventional driving habits) then exceptions need to be made to the laws. If everyone drove as they should (the people in the right lane going 65 and the people in the left lane going 75) then it would be much easier to adhere to the 'keep right except to pass'. Don't get me wrong, it's high up on the list of my pet peeves of rules of the road people don't adhere to (right after not using turn signals) but sometimes negating this rule is justified.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:58 PM   #75
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I 95 between Richmond and DC, three lanes, very congested, Friday night, headed south, after getting out of the bumper to bumper crawl just north of Fredericksburg (it goes on for 40 miles south of DC, and it doesn't get much more congested than that).

The truckers are mostly in the right lane, I drop in behind one of them (there are about 13 in a train). Getting about 65 MPG at 65-67 MPH, with two people in the car weighing about 440 total. I keep my separation distance about 125 feet, that's about 3 stripes between us (each stripe and the space between is about 43 feet). If I allow any more distance between us you can bet some jerk will try to pass the car in the center lane by pulling over 10 feet in front of me and trying to pass in the right lane with no regard to anyones safety.

By staying in the right lane I don't have to worry about idiots on the right of me, and in most cases those in the center and left lanes will only pull over into the right lane if I leave them more romm to exercise their stupidity. In the center and left lanes you have the whiplash syndrome, where the tailgaters (2 car lengths apart at 70+, are constantly accelerating then braking because their idea of defensive driving is to make sure no one can get in front of them, even though it still happens, sometimes in less distance than some would like to try to parallel park.

To me there is no safer place under these circumstances. I look for the trucker who is the smoothest operator, with minimum changes in speed, who is anticipating the potential hazards ahead of him (or her). I have enough time to stop in the distance between us and to avoid any road debris. I also look to see if any of his tires are not properly inflated or have any irregularities that might indicate a potential blowout ( I look at all the tires of vehicles for potential hazards).

I do get buffeted by the turbulence, but the secret is to not fight it, just let it go without microcorrecting any steering imput (same way pop handled turbulence flying a B17 in WW2). It does require an elevated level of attention and concentration, about every 3 hours I will take a break at a rest stop.

My longest drive sustained was from the Florida Keys to St Louis, 33 hours without a break. I wouldn't dream of trying anything that dumb today. That trip was in a 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV.

The method described nette me my highest mileage ever recorded in the VX, 304 miles on 4.627 gallons of gas (same pump, same station, same day).

regards
Gary
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:04 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
Yup, I fall into "toronto mode" when I get up near there... because using your indicator means "please cut me off" *sigh*
lol, sadly, so true

Another observation from personal experience I think bears noting since this discussion is largely based around safety:

If one's concern while driving is first and foremost avoiding an accident, then one should drive with the understanding that people make mistakes, and people don't adhere to the rules of the road. If you drive defensively, but also anticipate what's coming, I think this is the safest thing one can do. I've avoided many accidents because I put my ego aside and focused on one thing, and that is to rely on myself to keep me from being in an accident, not relying on other people to obey the rules. While one is justified in having the attitude "it won't be my fault if that person does such and such or doesn't do such and such and crashes into me" this is not an attitude that has safety at the forefront--it's an attitude that has "I will not be at fault" at the forefront: do you not want to be in an accident, or do you not mind as long as you're not at fault? Nevertheless, I witness it all too often. I feel it is my attitude behind the wheel more than anything else that has kept me from only having one very minor accident with another motorist. It certainly isn't my safe driving: I drive too fast, I drive too slow, I tailgate, I run stop signs, pull u-turns, whatever. But I take measures I 'technically' am not obliged to take to avoid potentially hazardous situations, like anticipate that people may be absent minded and make an error of judgment or not see me or another motorist and I respond appropriately to the situation. The one time I did rear end someone a combination of factors working against my favor transpired: it just started raining--I had just switched from driving an '04 Prius which has very touch brakes, to a '01 Saab which has surprisingly lazy brakes. I hadn't been driving two miles. It was minor enough that no damage was done to the car in front of me, just the bumper of my brother's Saab.

What are some ways people feel they keep themselves safer on the road?
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:19 PM   #77
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"the number one cause for accidents on freeways is people driving different speeds"

This is a very important point, so I'm glad you're emphasizing it.

"If monroe is doing *20*mph under the speed limit"

I appreciate that you noticed this. I think it's a very important element of what made the situation unusual. I would rarely do such a thing (cruise so much below the limit), but I was doing it on that particular occasion. It's ironic, because for most of my driving career it's been more likely that I would be doing 20 mph *over* the limit.

With the current fuel crisis (which is probably a new permanent condition), I think we're going to see more such situations (e.g., people cruising slowly to conserve, and people using techniques like P&G). Therefore I think it's going to be important to deal with these issues thoughtfully (both at an individual level, and at the level of public policy).
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:28 PM   #78
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"304 miles on 4.627 gallons of gas"

That's a great result. Do you think that you're doing better at a steady 67 mph behind the truck, as compared with some form of P&G? I realize P&G is not practical in those traffic conditions, but I'm curious if you have an opinion about this comparison.

By the way, I'm very envious of your low-mileage VX. It's probably one of the lowest in the country. It occurs to me that to some extent you're getting good results because your engine is fresher than most.

I think I saw you mention somewhere that you're still on the original tires. What pressure are you using? And I wonder if you're planning to replace them, and with what.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:33 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monroe74 View Post
"304 miles on 4.627 gallons of gas"

That's a great result. Do you think that you're doing better at a steady 67 mph behind the truck, as compared with some form of P&G? I realize P&G is not practical in those traffic conditions, but I'm curious if you have an opinion about this comparison.

By the way, I'm very envious of your low-mileage VX. It's probably one of the lowest in the country. It occurs to me that to some extent you're getting good results because your engine is fresher than most.

I think I saw you mention somewhere that you're still on the original tires. What pressure are you using? And I wonder if you're planning to replace them, and with what.
A legend among us. I just remembered the original tires are no longer available--that is quite remarkable. In a Prius, I was drafting behind a truck going down a hill that normally nets a coasting speed of 55-60mph in neutral without drafting. Behind the truck drafting, I got the Prius battery completely charged by the time I was at the bottom (about 4 miles of drafting down the hill) There is no way the battery would get charged at all if I hadn't been drafting behind the truck at the speed the truck was going.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:00 PM   #80
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"the original tires are no longer available"

Theoretically, there's one set that's available, if someone can convince Gary to sell it. jk.
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